Portland, 2017

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Villanelle


He says just before going in for the kill
A string of epithets I will not honor here,
While it’s getting harder and harder to sit still.

She looks away and hopes the man will
Satisfy his rage with this tirade of racist smears
He says. Just before going in for the kill,

The stranger yells at her: “Get out of my country!” A chill
Creeps down my spine; I know this happens — but not here.
While it’s getting harder and harder to sit still,

Another man, a real man, stands up: “Will
You leave her alone?” But hate declines; instead into her ear
He says, just before going in for the kill,

“Muslims should die!” Her hijab frames her face that fills
With fear, praying his tone will soften, disappear,
While it’s getting harder and harder. To sit still

Is not an option: two more rise into the cold, unwanted thrill;
Love pushes back the hands of hate. “Touch me again, I’ll kill you!” Fear!
He says, just before going in for the kill,
While it’s getting harder and harder to sit still.

In Memorium: Ricky John Best & Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ~Edmund Burke, paraphrase

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Originally posted as part of Chalkboard's Villanelle Vestiges collaborative poetry project. I borrowed the refrain lines from Rachel B. Baxter's villanelle Drillanelle.
Image by Engin Akyurt (public domain).

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